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The Aylesford Skull (Langdon St. Ives) by…

The Aylesford Skull (Langdon St. Ives) (edition 2013)

by James P. Blaylock (Author)

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944128,437 (4.33)4
Title:The Aylesford Skull (Langdon St. Ives)
Authors:James P. Blaylock (Author)
Info:Titan Books (2013), Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:VerDimen, Your library, Read Tracking List, Received for Review
Tags:Mystery, Steampunk, Narbondo, #6, Novel, Vera Review, >TRADE, England, Read 2013, LR2013-03-30

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The Aylesford Skull by James P. Blaylock

1883 (1) airship (1) airships (1) alternate history (3) amateur detective (1) bombing (1) Christie (1) dated (1) ebook (4) eccentric (1) England (3) evil (2) fantasy (15) fiction (13) grave robbing (1) horror (2) humor (2) Kindle (3) mystery (2) need (1) novel (3) pirates (1) protagonist (1) science fiction (14) sf (2) sff (3) signed (2) steampunk (23) to-read (8) unread (3)



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The first steampunk novel I have read. Like others I was slightly confused. Is this the first book? Have we not got the full series here in the UK? Some questions that need answering then. All in all this was an interesting read and a good adventure story. I will probably read another one. Did it blow me away though? no - and after a recommendation by Philip K. Dick as well! ( )
  polarbear123 | Jul 7, 2013 |
I was first intrigued by the description, and the fact that it was a steampunk novel (I like steampunk). The book started out strong, with action almost from the first page. I liked the writing style, and I liked most of the characters that were introduced.

The book is a good adventure story, and aside from the adventure of it, there's also ghosts and necromancy, which is right up my alley, and I liked the way the supernatural elements of the story were weaved into the plot. I also liked that we got different perspectives from the different characters.

However, I felt that I was missing some backstory behind some of the characters, specifically between St. Ives and Narbondo. I understand that they are nemeses, and I know that without that aspect of their relationship in place there would be no plot (there would be no point in the kidnapping if there wasn't the drive for revenge on Narbondo's part), but the reason WHY they were nemeses was never really explained. It was touched on, and hinted at, but I didn't feel as though I got a really good explanation or history and that bothered me. I don't think it's a crucial aspect of it, and you don't really need it to enjoy the story, but I just kind of wished that I knew more about them.

While there were a lot of good scenes (and some scenes and lines that actually made me laugh-mostly involving St. Ives's friend Tubby, who was actually one of my favorite characters) I also felt that it dragged in places. I actually felt that quite a few scenes with St. Ives were the draggiest bits (except towards the end), and I enjoyed the scenes with Tubby and his comrades and Finn Conrad much more than the ones with St. Ives himself, which was a little disappointing considering that St. Ives is the main character.

All that being said though, I did really enjoy the book. It's a good book if you want something quick and fun to read-a "popcorn book" if you will. It's got good adventure elements and I think Blaylock did a good job with keeping the suspense and there were a lot of moments where I was on the edge of my seat wondering how it was going to turn out. The characters were well developed and I liked that there were some scenes from Narbondo's point of view.

So overall, I enjoyed the book, I think it's a fun adventure. ( )
  MaryAnn12 | Apr 4, 2013 |
The Aylesford Skull is the 6th book in the Narbondo series. Since this is the only book in the series I’ve read, I have to ask why it is named after the villain? The main protagonist in the book is Langdon St. Ives, a British gentleman with some standing. St. Ives has been in most of the series it appears.

Langdon has just completed an adventure to try and recover some property that was stolen from his Society, property the Society was planning on purchasing. The whole escapade ended poorly. He wants to spend time with his family and not go anywhere for a long time. Unfortunately, fate has other plans for him. Shortly after arriving home, his wife brings home a large Pike for lunch, and Langdon recognizes the smell of Hemlock, someone tried to poison the family. That very evening, after everyone went to bed, St. Ives young son Edward was kidnapped.

I did enjoy this book, it was exciting from beginning to end. Langdon never seems to get more than a few hours to rest before he needs to be on the move again. It was an interesting adventure and I was constantly wondering what Narbondo’s ultimate evil goal was. He always seemed to be about 3 steps ahead of everyone else trying to catch or stop him. His biggest asset was, he was totally ruthless and willing to prey on anyone elses weaknesses, whether they be compassion or love for someone or merely simple greed.

The story runs all over the London area and every time you think Langdon or his friends are ahead and won a round, Narbondo is already to turn the tables and make them play another game. In many ways this was frustrating but the end was a satisfying one. Eventually I’ll have to read some of the earlier books in the series. I also don’t think that the series needs to be read from the beginning either. ( )
  readafew | Feb 11, 2013 |
Book Review & Giveaway: Award-winning author James P. Blaylock is considered one of the three founding fathers of modern Steampunk literature, along with Tim Powers and K.W. Jeter. I was excited when I was approached about reading and reviewing his new novel in the Langdon St. Ives series, The Aylesford Skull. This is what I like to think of as old-school Steampunk. It should appeal as much to people who like Victorian era historical novels as it does to fantasy and Steampunk fans. Read the rest of my review & enter to win a copy at http://popcornreads.com/?p=5271. ( )
  PopcornReads | Jan 15, 2013 |
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It is the summer of 1883 and Professor Langdon St. Ives - brilliant but eccentric scientist and explorer - is at home in Aylesford with his family. However, a few miles to the north a steam launch has been taken by pirates above Egypt Bay; the crew murdered and pitched overboard. In Aylesford itself a grave is opened and possibly robbed of the skull. The suspected grave robber, the infamous Dr. Ignacio Narbondo, is an old nemesis of Langdon St. Ives.

When Dr. Narbondo returns to kidnap his four-year-old son Eddie and then vanishes into the night, St. Ives and his factotum Hasbro race to London in pursuit...
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